This recipe actually is a fusion Indonesian cuisine, which is influenced by Chinese cuisine. We, the Indonesians, is called Kailan that is taken from the Chinese name “Kai-lan”. However, in my oriental store that I’m used to shop it’s called Gai-lan. According to wikipedia, Kai-lan and its alternate version, gai-lan derive from Cantonese. Kai-lan is also known as Chinese broccoli or Chinese kale, is a slightly bitter leaf vegetable featuring thick, flat, glossy blue-green leaves with thick stems and a small number of tiny, almost vestigial flower heads similar to those of broccoli. As a group of Brassica oleracea, kai-lan is of the same species of plant as broccoli and kale. Its flavor is very similar to that of broccoli, though not identical, being a bit sweeter.
As other vegetables stir-fry methods, this recipe is called for blanch. Blanch is a cooking method most often vegetables, by briefly in boiling water and then quickly cooling them in cold water. Food is blanched for one or more of the following reasons: to loosen and remove skin (tomatoes, peaches, almonds); to enhance color and reduce bitterness (raw vegetables for crudités); and to extend storage life (raw vegetables to be frozen).
500 g kai-lan (alternate names: gai-lan, Chinese broccoli, Chinese kale)
25 g tiny silver anchovies (Indonesian’s name: teri medan, teri nasi)
3 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
1 cm ginger, bruished
1 tbsp oysters sauce
1 tbsp cornstarch dissolved in a small amount of water
300 ml water
1 tsp sugar
ground white pepper as desired
sugar and salt as desired to season
1. In a pot, add water and bring to a boil. Add 1 tsp sugar. Blanch water spinach in boiling water, drain and quickly cooling them in cold water. Place on a serving plate.
2. In a pan, add a small amount of olive oil or other oils are accepted, stir fry garlic and ginger until fragrant at over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low heat, add oyster sauce, 300 ml of water, tiny silver anchovies, ground white pepper, and sugar to season. I didn’t add salt in it, but if you like you can add salt as desired. Cook until well-permeated. Add cornstarch mixture to anchovies sauce mixture and stir until thickened.
3. Serve by pouring sauce over kai-lan on a serving plate.